Sunday, December 05, 2004

tentatively dropping toe in water again

It's been a couple of weeks since I posted! My, how time flies. Sorry for the neglect, dear reader. I made a point of staying away from the computer during the Thanksgiving hollydaze and found it difficult to catch up. The hollydaze were fine. We had a house full of people who, for the most part, danced around each other's sore nerves. We actually ended up with 5 or 6 cooks in the kitchen and we worked well together. The meal was outstanding. Shawn made sweet potatoe rolls, cranberry sauce with Grand Marnier, and porcini stuffing that was to die for. John brined and baked the turkey. Shawn's mother, Debbie, did a LOT of prep work and made the mashed potatoes (using Yukon Gold potatoes) and the gravy from the turkey drippings. Kim, John's wife, did more prep work and helped out with dishes in the end. I made the pumpkin pies with brandy, the Asian pear mincemeat tart (which John and Kim kept saying was soooo, sweet while wolfing down helpings of it....note "helpingS"), a four grain pilaf (wild rice, brown rice, wheat berries, and pearlyy barley with dried cranberries and using a mushroom stock base), and the salmon. Oh, and I also made drinks, opened wine and poured all night.

Everyone enjoyed the meal and no one hesitated to dive back in the next morning. The next night, we made use of the leftover salmon by making salmon patties for dinner. SophiaKitty had brought us a gift basket of 5 different types of mushrooms from Whole Foods, so on Saturday, I put that to use as a base for my cream of mushroom soup. Sunday, I reduced some of the soup by half and used it as a pasta sauce on some fresh pasta.

The rest of the past week was a seeming blur. Lots to do, but no time to do it. It will suffice to add that we did get our IKEA tree, as usual, on Friday. And we had our traditional dinner at the Imperial Garden restaurant at the Great Wall Mall in Kent. We do this every year to wait out rush hour traffic, which is terrible in the area. Plus, it's a great excuse to enjoy some fantastic Chinese food - just top notch. On the way back, we forgot and left my car at Shawn's office.

Yesterday, we sat around and did a whole lot of nothing. It was wonderful. I did manage to throw together a breakfast and we went to Shawn's holiday party last night for work, but other than that...nothing. The holiday party was nice. We sat with Shawn's co-workers, Mische, Greta, Molly, and Molly's friend, Jonathon. Mische was wearing a dress (!) with a scarf and knee high boots. I leaned over to Greta and commented how the scarf and boots combo made the outfit and she was in total agreement. You could tell that Greta wanted to get home and tear the dress off of her woman that night. Jonathon and Molly were their usual charming and witty selves. The food set up was from 3 different regions: Middle Eastern, American, and Indian, so we got some good bites. The drinks were weak, though it was Bombay Saphire. The DJ, poor sap, tried out 70s disco at first and no one hit the floor. Then he tried a ballad and got a few dancers. Then he tried out a 60s tune and that cleared the floor. Finally, someone mentioned that he should play Usher and that packed the floor. Next, he played Outkast and created a more packed floor. It was interesting to see the best shaking going on to 2 African American rappers by the mostly 30 and 40 something crowd.

While we're on the subject of music, let me point you to a timely mix with a link by Culture Deluxe. Merry Mixmas is a DJ set, about 30 minutes in length, featuring versions of holiday tunes. It's done very well. The link above takes you to the mp3 at 192 kbps. While on Culture Deluxe's site, check out the Loo & Placido XFM Superchunk. I haven't finished listening to it, but the mash up of Hendrix, The Doors, and No Doubt (with a touch of Was (Not Was) thrown in) was very good.

That's it for now. I'll try to get back onto a regular track tomorrow. Today will be spent decorating the tree, replacing Shawn's headlamp (a pain in the ass, I assure you), and doing a few things around the house for the hollydaze.

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